Clearing the air on Pride Parade celebrations downtown this weekend

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HOUSTON, TX - For 30 plus years, Pride in Houston has filled the streets of Montrose with a celebration of freedom, equality and fun.

But last year, the non-profit organizer Pride Houston, Inc. decided to move the festival and parade downtown.

“For safety and liability reasons, it wasn’t good for us to keep it there… With downtown it offers us the opportunity for growth, and opportunities to expand,” says President and CEO Frankie Quijano.

This does give the festival an opportunity to grow, but not everyone was excited about the move.   Some confusion has risen regarding a second festival in Montrose.

Houston, this is not so.

The previous year's permit for the event in Montrose was re-approved prior to the move last October, and wasn’t cancelled prior to the release of the city’s events calendar. There is no planned street closures in Montrose this weekend for a festival or parade.

Activist Ray Hill helped organize the very first Pride Parade in Houston, and wishes the community had more involvement in the decision-making process.

“This is the first year that basically all decisions were made by a handful of people. It’s a private corporation,” Hill says.

Regardless of whether you’re excited or frustrated with the move, Ray says you still need to make it downtown this weekend.

“I want everyone to go down there and see all those beautiful, wonderful people that I’ve spent my life struggling for their equality.

Even so, those longing for a reunion have the opportunity this Saturday.  Hill explains, “I’ve invited my friends to come back to Montrose, with the mood of homecoming, Montrose Homecoming Walkabout. Let’s go back to where we used to be, we’ll get to see one another again, see how fat we’re getting, and how much more grey hair we have.”

Regardless of where you decide to celebrate this weekend, do it loud and do it proud. That’s one thing about Pride in Houston that should never change.